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2014 F1

No end in sight for Mercedes duo ‘star wars’

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The German press already has a word for the situation between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg — ‘Star Wars’.

After the qualifying controversy in Monaco, the furious Hamilton sat down with Rosberg in a mandatory meeting with Mercedes team bosses Paddy Lowe, Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda.

When asked if the teammates are still talking, German Rosberg smiled: “Of course!”

Not according to Hamilton. The Briton, who lost his championship lead to Rosberg as his winning streak ended in the Principality, answered “no” when asked if he and Rosberg are on speaking terms.

Lauda confirmed that Hamilton did not exactly accept Rosberg’s apology of Saturday.

“Well, we’re not friends,” the 2008 world champion, when asked if their falling out after a long friendship was a shame, told British television Sky. “We’re colleagues.”

After the calm and maturity of Hamilton’s early-season form in 2014, he sounded upset not only with Rosberg on Sunday, but also the Mercedes team.

“I knew you wouldn’t call me in,” Hamilton fumed to his engineer, after suggesting he should have been invited for an earlier pit service on Sunday.

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But the big fracture within Mercedes is between Hamilton and Rosberg.

“Fortunately I didn’t make any mistakes,” he said in the podium interview on Sunday, obviously referring to Rosberg’s dubious ‘mistake’ twenty four hours ago.

Even Rosberg is now beginning to catch on to the chill. “I don’t want to comment about Lewis in any way,” he said after taking back the championship lead with his second consecutive Monaco win.

“‘Friends’ is a big word,” he explained when probed about his relationship with the occupant of the sister silver and turquoise car. “We work well together.”

But as recently as mere days ago, Rosberg happily revealed that when Monaco neighbour Hamilton’s fridge is empty, the Briton will often knock and ask for a spare rissole.

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When asked if Hamilton is still going to drop by, Rosberg told Germany’s Sky on Sunday: “I doubt it.”

Lauda, a triple world champion who has first-hand experience of tough title battles, vowed to keep the situation under control.

“They know what they have to do — I made it clear to them this morning,” he said. “I think I am earning my money as a mentor!”

At the same time, it emerged – and Lauda confirmed it – that Hamilton had to apologise for using a high engine setting against orders in Barcelona two weeks ago to keep Rosberg behind him.

Rosberg, who complied with orders and used the lower setting, reportedly accepted Hamilton’s apology.

“Everything is perfect,” Lauda insisted.(GMM)

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